Ranch life in the Big Sky state through the eyes of one who has lived through it...so far.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When Stupid and Barbed Wire Mix



Tonight was one of those nights that tested my cowgirl constitution. Roo has never been the brightest bulb in our horse herd, but he outdid himself this time. We're not sure how or why he would stick a back leg through the fence when there was nothing but a grain swather on the other side to kick at, but somehow he got the wire wrapped all the way around.


My parents and husband bandaged it up last night to stop the bleeding. Tonight we had to unbandage and try to figure out what to do next. The end result involved Banamine (oral painkiller), a garden hose, iodine, hydrogen peroxide, Lidocaine, sinew, a large sewing needle, and some tightly gritted teeth. Mine. Given my background in sportsmedicine, I am the designated treater of wounds and inserter of sutures.


That white spot in the middle of the cut is bone. I had to try to pull the skin and muscle together over it, but still leave it open enough to drain. Unfortunately, my camera battery went dead so there are no after photos, but it wasn't all that pretty anyway. We bandaged it up with cloth diapers and a leg wrap. Hopefully, if he keeps his leg fairly straight, the stitches will hold and it'll do the trick.

A while back, one of my fellow online ranch women invited me to chime in on her blog. Tonight was just one example of What It Takes to Be a Cowgirl.

21 comments:

Posey said...

:( Poor Roo.

Harley May said...

Indeed. Poor fellow.

Gary Corby said...

Oh no! The poor horse. Will Roo be okay, or is it uncertain?

Bill Cameron said...

Yeah. You win. Ouch. Poor Roo.

pseudosu said...

Gah! Almost yarked! I used to be more immune when I worked at a vet clinic, but it's been a while. Way to suck it up and do what had to be done. Yeesh. Poor guy.

Tawna Fenske said...

Ouch! Kudos to you for getting the job done :)

Tawna

Katt said...

Well, this is the first time in ages that I've read your post and been glad I'm not at the ranch anymore.
I remember these days and the uncertainty of the many days that follow.

Of course for me, we had up to 80 thoroughbreds so there wasn't a lot of barbed wire (due to the prominence of the 'stupid' gene). And naturally, the only horses that got nasy wounds were boarders, so not only did you doctor like mad for a few weeks, you had some splainin to do along with it. And who knows why they fight with fences on 300+ acres?

Our best was over a six month stretch we had 9 yearling colts, get identical wounds (back of upper forarm) and four different people could not find the place they were doing it!

Yup, glad to be back in the city for now!
good luck with Roo

Kari Lynn Dell said...

Gary: For as bad as it looks, he doesn't seem to have cut right through anything significant. The trick will be getting it to close up over that hole where the bone is showing without infection. This probably means permanent retirement, as he's twenty years old and getting a tad arthritic anyway.

Katt: How do you describe that smell? Even after one day. Gah.

Bill Kirton said...

Graphic stuff. You really do give us all sides of your life. This was definitely the down side. I hope he's OK.

Stan Grace said...

Not one of the more pleasant sides of ranch life but it does bring back childhood memories of my Father pleading for Mom's button jar when stitches were needed to close a wound. He was quite good at suturing and using buttons on the stitches to keep them from tearing out. It is surprising how one can rise to the occasion when need is immediate.

Katt said...

ha ha, I became addicted to Kleenex that has Vicks imbedded in it!

Marguerite Butler said...

Poor Roo! I have a gelding who's Mr. Accident-waiting-to-happen. He's been stitched up so many times he looks like Frankenstein.

One of those injuries was wrapping my neighbor's barbed wire fence around his leg. It took months to get it right. I don't envy you.

Oh, the smell! My nose is trying to crawl off my face just remembering.

Kari Lynn Dell said...

Margerite: For us, that's Pocket and Scotchman. Seems like they're constantly snagging themselves on something. Which is why we have all those supplies on hand and know how to use them.

Katt: I can relate to the mystery cuts. One of my mares managed to cut herself in a pipe fenced pen. Never did find anything sharp.

Kari Lynn Dell said...

Stan: Yep. The needle and sinew we used last night came out of Mom's sewing basket.

Sandy said...

you are a strong woman my dear!

Linda G. said...

Ack. Feeling rather faint now...*sickly grin*

Laurie Lamb said...

How is Roo doing? His wound makes anything that ever happened to my horses look like scratches. I hope he gets better soon.

Kari Lynn Dell said...

Laurie: Roo is getting around a little, and the wound is beginning to heal, but I'm still worried about the exposed bone. Hoping by tomorrow the swelling will have gone down enough to do a better suture job and get it closed up.

Raymond Williams said...

I am not a vet, but as the owner of thoroughbreds your position is familiar. You seem to be on the right track, but you really need to be aware of the probability of proudflesh as the wound heals. Tight bandaging will help reduce the possibility, but beware of compromising circulation. If proudflesh does develop, the best cure that I have found is to spray the wound with scarlet oil and then apply generous amounts of wonderdust. This will create a scabbing effect that can be scraped off - thus reducing the proudflesh. This must be done at least daily until the proudflesh has diminished to the point that the skin can grow over the wound surface. Remember that proudflesh has exceptional blood supply, but no nerves - thus lots of blood but no pain for the animal.
Best of luck,
raymondcwilliams@carolina.rr.com

Kari Lynn Dell said...

Thanks, Raymond. There is such a chunk gone from the outside of his leg, we could use a little proud flesh at this point. If anything, I'm concerned that it's not developing enough granular tissue, but it's probably early yet. I am changing up my routine some, though, diluting the betadine wash and changing dressings every other day instead of every day. And keeping my fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

oh poor Roo what a mess, update please on how he is, i was just reading all the blog i have missed this made me cringe! sadie xx